Now that a big part of the world is facing a tremendous challenge, it’s time to reinvent ourselves and the way we take care of our duties and daily routines. For the ones working remotely, the biggest challenge is to find the right balance between the work and the daily routine at home. For that, we selected a few articles with the best tips, tools and rules to keep your productivity up.
For the ones that are already familiar to remote work - as a tech team or as freelancers -, we hope to inspire you for a brand new vision of how can your day-to-day “at work” can be done. Also, feel free to share with us your tips!
The World Economic Forum throught Ian Sanders selected tips to nail working from home in contexts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, Ariana Huffington designed working-from-home microsteps to help all of us adjust to this new normal by building resilience and new healthy habits. Harvard Business Review left us another amazing article: a “Guide to managing your (newly) Remote workers” written by Barbara Z. Larson, Erin E. Makarius and Susan R. Vroman. Inc. has also shared “23 essentials for working remotely”, by Lindsey Pollak and Eileen Coombes to keep productivity and morale high.
From all these contributions we selected those we are more committed about at Lisbon Tech Guide.
#1 Every morning, dress the same way as if you were going to the office. You'll find you're more productive when you are not in your pajamas.
#2 Have some social interaction. Working from home can be lonely. So make sure you have some calls with fellow team members where you not only catch up on the projects you’re working on but also can share some tips on how you’re getting on with remote working. Also, If you’re feeling lonely, schedule a virtual coffee break with a friend. Other options include virtual pizza parties (with pizza delivered to all team members at the time of a videoconference), or virtual office parties (in which party “care packages” can be sent in advance to be opened and enjoyed simultaneously).
#3 Stay focused and switch off distractions. At home, there’s the fridge, the TV, other family members, a pet, chores and so on. To get the work done, you’re going to have to put all those things out of mind. You can do house-stuff during your lunch break, right now the to-do list matters most so you’ll need to keep focused.
#4 Protect your time: You have to make some rules about when you’ll start and finish your work and stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll lose control of the situation. Also, try to schedule 60 minutes on your calendar to eat a healthy lunch every day. The concern many managers have about their employees working from home is that remote workers are just doing laundry and bingeing Netflix. But the opposite is usually true - people tend to work more from home because it's harder to "leave" work. Set "in office" hours and communicate these with both colleagues and family.
#5 If you are a manager, establish a daily call with your remote employees. This could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls if your employees work more independently from each other, or a team call, if their work is highly collaborative. The most important is to be regular and predictable so that your employees know they can consult with you and have their concerns and questions heard.
#6 Provide several different communication technology options. Email alone is insufficient. Remote workers benefit from having a “richer” technology, such as video conferencing, that gives participants many of the visual cues that they would have if they were face-to-face. Video is also particularly useful for complex or sensitive conversations, as it feels more personal than written or audio-only communication. Lisbon Tech Guide we can not live without:
#7 Use video, even if it's uncomfortable for you. To avoid feeling isolated, use video technology to connect with your team and colleagues in a more intentional and human way. At Lisbon Tech Guide, we know that video calls are not comfortable for everyone, but the slight discomfort can be worth the benefit of seeing people's faces.
Being a remote-first organization come with additional benefits, especially if working with customers located all over the world, with different backgrounds and cultures. In software development, for example, the needs of a globally diverse customer base are best met with a diverse set of employees. The same is true for the teams we manage for our clients that are from all over and decided to work from Lisbon.
Work remotely. Stay connected.